OnePlus 8 vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite: Which should you buy?

OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8 (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

OnePlus 8

Oneplus 8

When it comes to "value flagships," the OnePlus 8 is one of the best you can buy. Whether we're talking about the gorgeous design, 90Hz display, excellent performance, or long-lasting battery life, this is a phone that does it all. Compared to the Galaxy S10 Lite, we think the OnePlus 8 is worth the extra cash.

OnePlus 8

The one to get

90Hz AMOLED display
Top-notch hardware
Buttery-smooth performance
Reliable cameras
Long-lasting battery life
No wireless charging
Weak macro camera

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

The Galaxy S10 Lite is an interesting device. At its core, it offers a well-rounded experience with high marks for performance, battery life, and cameras. Unfortunately, various shortcomings with its display and design make it a difficult recommendation when the OnePlus 8 exists for just a few dollars more.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Swing and a miss

Large, bezel-less display
Fast processor
Decent cameras
Battery life is excellent
Display is only 60Hz
No wireless charging
Bland plastic design

The OnePlus 8 and Galaxy S10 Lite are both admirable contenders in the value flagship battle, but out of these two choices, we think the OnePlus 8 is the best choice for most people. For just a little bit more money, the OnePlus 8 gives you a more eye-catching design, newer processor, better display, faster charging speeds, and more. The S10 Lite isn't a bad phone by any means, but the OnePlus 8 just happens to outclass it.

The OnePlus 8 is the smarter purchase

Year after year, OnePlus churns out some of the best deals in the smartphone landscape. The OnePlus 8 isn't the best value we've ever seen from the company, but it still offers a top-notch experience for considerably less than what traditional flagships cost.

One of the first of the many advantages the OnePlus 8 has over the Galaxy S10 Lite is its design. The OnePlus 8 features a metal/glass construction that's put together incredibly well, and it's made even better with the stunning Glacial Green and Interstellar Glow (pictured above) colors offered. We also love OnePlus's physical alert slider, which no other Android phone maker seems to be interested in.

Looking at the OnePlus 8's display, you're treated to a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with a 1080x2400 resolution. It's pretty much identical to the Galaxy S10 Lite in those regards, but the OnePlus 8 has one huge advantage — a 90Hz refresh rate. This means that everything on the screen moves with more fluidity than what you get on a typical 60Hz panel, and once you see it for yourself in person, you'll never want to go back.

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Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus 8Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Operating SystemAndroid 10
Android 10
One UI 2.1
1080 x 2400
90Hz refresh rate
1080 x 2400
60Hz refresh rate
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Expandable Storage✔️
Rear Camera 148MP primary camera
48MP primary camera
Rear Camera 216MP ultra-wide camera
12MP ultra-wide camera
Rear Camera 32MP macro camera
5MP macro camera
Front Camera16MP
Battery4,300 mAh4,500 mAh
Charging30W Warp Charge25W wired charging
Dimensions160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm162.5 x 75.6 x 8.1mm
ColorsGlacial Green
Interstellar Glow
Prism Black

OnePlus 8

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Contributing to that buttery-smooth performance are some of the best internals you can find. The OnePlus 8 is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 865 processor from Qualcomm, 8 or 12GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The 4,300 mAh battery also allows for long-lasting endurance, and when it does run out, you have 30W wired charging to refuel the phone in no time at all.

Tying all of this together is OnePlus's OxygenOS, which continues to be our favorite Android interface on the market. It's fast, uncluttered, and adds genuinely useful additions to the stock Android platform.

When it comes to the cameras, however, it's a mixed bag. The 48MP primary camera takes very good photos in all kinds of lighting conditions, and the 16MP ultra-wide camera does a great job at kicking out quality shots while also giving you a wider perspective. Unfortunately, OnePlus thought it would be a good idea to not include a telephoto camera and instead offer a 2MP maco sensor. This is a similar setup compared to the S10 Lite, and it's not one we're a fan of. The maco camera on the OnePlus 8 isn't very good, and for the most part, is probably something you'll end up ignoring.

Joining the list of disappointments is the lack of wireless charging and no IP rating for water resistance, but other than that, the OnePlus 8 knocks it out of the park.

Why you may want to consider the Galaxy S10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

There's no doubt that the OnePlus 8 has more than a few advantages over the Galaxy S10 Lite, but that's not to say you should completely ignore this phone. While it wouldn't be our first pick if given the choice between it and the OnePlus 8, Samsung's value flagship is still worth talking about.

For one thing, you'll likely get better battery life out of the Galaxy S10 Lite. Along with the larger 4,500 mAh battery, the 60Hz display is more power-efficient than the 90Hz one on the OnePlus 8. If you're someone that needs to squeeze as much juice as possible out of your phone, the S10 Lite could be worth a look.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The S10 Lite is also the only phone to offer expandable storage, which is a great perk if you have a lot of local movies, songs, or games that you store on your phone.

Finally, there's something to be said about the Galaxy S10 Lite's price. While the OnePlus 8 is more technically impressive in many ways, the core experience of using the S10 Lite is perfectly enjoyable. If you want to save some cash, its lower retail price may be what pushes you over the edge to get it. Plus, if you can take advantage of something like Samsung's trade-in deal and save even more, it becomes even better.

A pretty easy decision

Wrapping this up, it's safe to say that we think most folks are better off with the OnePlus 8. Yes, it's a little more expensive than the Galaxy S10 Lite, but you get a lot for those extra dollars.

The OnePlus 8's 90Hz display is a big deal, having the latest Qualcomm processor is great if you plan on keeping your phone for a while, the design is nicer and more premium, and there's no beating OxygenOS.

It's not a bad idea to consider the S10 Lite if it's catching your attention, but if it were our money, the OnePlus 8 is the phone we'd go with.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.